Oral History Interviews

Naughtier side of youthful games in countryside in the 80s

Continuing the previous interview post – Playing in the country in 80s – 90s – Andrew talks about some of the naughtier games he used to play. Living in the country surrounded by fields there was always opportunity to go out and play. He remembers his dad made him a catapult. He used to fire stones and bits and pieces at birds and things like that. His dad also had a bow and arrow in the shed and when they were out he would get it out and shoot into a fence as target practice. He remembers on one occasion it went straight through and could have killed somebody if they had been standing on the other side.

When he was 16 he was allowed a 50cc moped. This gave him great independence in that he could travel further. He used to have races with other people who had similar bikes, they would do wheelies and doughnuts (riding the bike around in a tight circle). Near the chip shop in the town there was a pedestrian crossing, here you could press a button to cross the road and they used to use this as a starting light and 20 to 50 bikes would line up and spin away once it turned green and they’d see who’d go fastest round the block. Andrew and friends used to do this over at Bournemouth as well they thought they were kings of the road.

From 17, 18 years old, they used to drink a lot of alcohol at parties; parents tolerated it. Andrew’s dad always used to have home brew at home. He was taught to drink responsibly, but he still went out and got drunk quite a lot, at one stage it was most weekends. At that age you could get drunk one night and go out drinking again the next night. Andrew and his friends would also go drink in Poole and they would take (steal) street signs on the way home, than when they woke up the next morning they’d find them scattered around the house.

A friend’s dad had a plastic three wheeler car and on one occasion they took it out as they thought it would attract the girls!

Andrew ends the interview by talking about his fascination with knives. His parents knew this, even when he was very young he was always after an knife, to cut rope, to cut tree branches, etc. There was a point when his parents allowed him a knife. On one occasion when they’d made a den, he cut a number of hay bales and the farmer caught them and the police was called. This was embarrassing as his dad was a policeman at the time. Andrew was brought back to his house in the back of a police car. He wrote a letter to the farmer and it was all put to bed.

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